U.A.C.C. Downward Spiral Continues
President Michael Hecht, Once Again, Ignores Those Who Continue to Unite The Hobby
The U.A.C.C. (Universal Autograph Collectors Club) for well over a decade has been in a serious decline. Membership and club growth is a disaster. Dozens of the industry’s major legitimate dealers will not join this group or they have dropped their membership.
The last dealer to join was given number 333 yet there is only 139 dealer members. Where did all the dealers go? Every one was vetted by the club’s membership committee yet many of these dealers were later removed over ethic’s violations. Others realizing this group was no longer for them, for many reasons, simply dropped their membership. Some legitimate autograph dealers feel displaying this club’s logo is a red flag to potential customers.
Today, the club continues to have many problems. Some of the favored dealer members are breaking serious ethic’s violations of the club while the directors of the organization look the other way. Shill bidding members and members not guaranteeing what is sold are members in good standing.
Some non-member collectors and dealers feel the way the club operates if hurting the entire industry.
What makes no sense is with the steady downfall of the U.A.C.C. membership, the Manuscript Society has decided to have Michael Hecht, President of the U.A.C.C., in charge of their “Membership Service.”
Once again, in an attempt to unite the autograph community, the attached letter was sent to Michael Hecht via mail and email. The letter is dated January 4, 2016. With two months passing, Mr. Hecht has ignored not only this letter but similar attempts in the past.
7155 Sand Crest View
Colorado Springs, CO 80923
January 4, 2016
Mr. Michael Hecht
President , U.A.C.C.
1489 W. Cypress Ave.
San Dimas, CA 91773
Dear Mr. Hecht,
This letter is being sent to you via mail and email.
It should come as no surprise to you that the hobby of autographs, internationally, is larger than ever. Unfortunately, the growth in this hobby is not reflected in the Universal Autograph Collectors Club.
Recently, I have had lengthy discussions with collectors, dealers and some members of the U.A.C.C. Everyone is very concerned about the health of our hobby and the future of the club.
Over the last 20 years the U.A.C.C. has been in a steady downfall. Although the U.A.C.C. is just a small part of autograph collecting worldwide, it’s longtime downward spiral is not good for the hobby as a whole.
Just a handful of years ago the U.A.C.C. had a membership of over 2,000. Today it is estimated that the membership is approximately 700.
The last dealer to join the U.A.C.C. received Registered Dealer #333, yet there is presently only 139 dealer members. One hundred ninety-four members have not renewed their membership and most of them are still in business. As a matter of fact, some of them have found other clubs to support with their dues and educational articles.
From past experience, it is obvious and proven, if someone from within the club attempts to address issues of concern, the U.A.C.C. fabricates sanctions against them. These members with concerns have chosen to leave the club rather than chance being punished for simply asking questions.
There is no question, everyone in the hobby wants a healthy hobby. Comments by the U.A.C.C. such as “over the years the U.A.C.C. has been dragged in to controversial issues….” Why do you think this is?
Many believe it is because the U.A.C.C. is not transparent.
The year 2016 should be the year for the U.A.C.C. to change its ways and become transparent. The more collectors and dealers know about the workings of the U.A.C.C., the healthier the hobby will be. Should the U.A.C.C. be willing to work with those in the hobby who are not presently members, by taking the high road, the club can only gain a much better reputation, this may ensure past members renewing their membership. From discussions I have had, collectors and dealers who had never been a member would consider joining.
I have been asked to approach the U.A.C.C. because I once was a member of the club for many years, held office, won prizes, supported the magazine with articles and attended most events throughout the United States. In the near future, I will be asking you some questions regarding the U.A.C.C.
With your support, it is hoped that the future of autograph collecting will become stronger than ever, free of controversy, and more universally known.
I, as well as many others, worldwide, look forward to hearing from you. Happy New Year!